U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Julia Butler Hansen Refuge
for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer

White-Tailed Deer
46 Steamboat Slough Rd
Cathlamet, WA   98612 - 0566
E-mail: willapa@fws.gov
Phone Number: 360-795-3915
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
White-Tailed Deer
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
Continued . . .

Motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles are permitted to travel on Steamboat Slough and Brooks Slough Roads and adjacent parking areas, the headquarters road to the refuge office, and the wildlife viewing site off Highway 4. All other areas of the refuge are closed to mechanized traffic.

Hiking within the Mainland Unit is permitted during daylight hours on Center Road from June through September, and on Steamboat Slough and Brooks Slough Roads year round. Hiking on Tenasillahe Island is permitted only on the dike surrounding the island. Hiking is not allowed off these established roads.

Deer and elk are easily observed year-round in the early morning and evening. Look for them in pastures along Steamboat Slough and Brooks Slough Roads, and from the wildlife viewing site off Highway 4. Beginning with the fall rut in November on through the winter, deer are more active in the daytime and are more often seen in open areas.

Beaver can often be seen in the evening when they begin foraging. Muskrats are found in sloughs and ditches, although they are not nearly as abundant as larger nutria, a non-native aquatic species, which are often seen waddling across the dikes and swimming in vegetated sloughs and ditches. Nutria eat aquatic plants and thus compete with native wildlife such as muskrats and waterfowl. River otters can sometimes be seen hunting in the larger sloughs and river.

A diverse assortment of waterfowl, wading birds, and raptors can be viewed on the refuge from Steamboat Slough and Brooks Slough Roads. Thousands of Canada geese spend the winter on the lower Columbia River and can be seen feeding on the refuge's short grass pastures. Throughout the fall and winter, ducks such as mallards, pintails, American wigeon, bufflehead, and green-winged teal are commonly found feeding in the refuge's sloughs, wetlands, and flooded pastures. Great blue herons, grebes, coots, loons, cormorants, and swans often rest in refuge sloughs. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and red-tailed hawks perch on refuge trees while looking for a meal.

It's best to view wildlife from your car. Not only is it less disturbing to the animals, car viewing often allows you to get a longer look. Use binoculars, spotting scopes, and telephoto lenses for close-up views and photographs. Although animals often disappear when you arrive, they may return shortly if you are quiet and remain still.

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